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the adventures of reine du fromage de blight

this is my blog of the mostest awesome mmo currently available! go to www.istaria.com for more information!

Author: velveeta

something i found while backing up my desktop

Posted by velveeta Sunday February 19 2012 at 10:06PM
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several years ago, istaria was going thru what us old timers call ' the time of trouble'.  the ownership changed hands and the new owners (they who shall not be named) seemed to be milking a small cash cow completely dry.  to this end, they shut down blight, the testing shard, the weekend just before christmas - with extremely little notice 1 day before the shut down.

this is a letter i posted in the forums concerning that matter.

thanx the lord that the true gods of istaria came to rescue us!!!

 

 

memoirs of the cheese queen

 

 

Like all good stories, this one starts long before the events it is about.  My road to Blight began when a friend I played online posting D&D with told me about a MMORPG.  I had no idea what that was, and listened with increasing wonder as he told me about the game he was currently addicted to.  Like D&D, you got to create a character and a ship, and you cruised thru the galaxy taking quests, making money, and advancing in levels – AND you got to talk and interact with peeps all over the world while doing it!!  The way he described it was like a huge gaming convention.
I signed up for the free 14-day trial and was hooked by the 3rd day.  I bought a 6-month subscription and played blissfully for about a month.
Then the news hit – the company that owned my game was shutting it down to bring a more popular PC game to the net.  We had six more months to enjoy before it was gone forever (sensing a pattern in my gaming life yet?).  With deep grief, I spent the last 6 months of the game doing everything I could in the game, until there was no place available to me that I hadn't explored, no job that I hadn't done, no quest left to take.  When the end came, I was deeply sad, but satisfied I had spent the time both well and enjoyably.
I tried some other MMOs, but none of them had the 'wow' factor that ENB had.  I thought I had just managed to find the one game that fit me and was settling into a life of bittersweet memory.
Then I started a new job.  I met a guy who told me about a game he played, called Horizons.  No spaceships, but you can play a dragon, or a lizardman, or a feline!  The thought of playing a catwoman piqued my interest and I decided to take a look.
I created Velveeta the saris and stepped out into the world of Istaria.  Figuring out how to function are the wages of learning any new game and Horizons was no different, but eventually I learned enough to leave the training island and set paws on the island that I came to despise – New Trismus.  Just thinking of it makes me shudder!
But I never felt alone on Blight.  I was greeted almost as soon as I popped up on NT, and the camaraderie was immediate and heartfelt.
I was lucky enough to meet god very early.  Istaria was still owned by Tulga then, and Blight had its very own deity, who watched over us and kept the world in top shape.  Of course, as an almost complete noob, I didn't know that a yellow color text and WM meant that you were in the presence of divine greatness.  All I saw as some human male break dancing on the top of the PB/Connie tent in NT.  I watched the amusing sight for several minutes before innocently asking who the funny man was.
That funny man was an accessible god, always ready to listen to Blighties and more importantly – take us seriously.  Illy never blew us off or made promises he knew he couldn't keep.  He worked with us, not against us.
Time passed, and I got to know all the good folks.  Ruf, Kirs, Sil, and a bunch of others took me out to the leech motel for server meets, and eventually I didn't even die getting there!  Onyx babysat me while I mined cobalt in Kirasanth.  Sharp and Sil and Broc and Mora (I never bothered to learn who went with what alt – I just treated them all as individuals!  I must have been the only player on Blight with only one alt!) welcomed me into Kraken Guard with open arms and generous hands.  There was no one too busy or snotty to help out a noob with answers and/or equipment.
I remember my first RoP.  Sharp was making the big step to adulthood and invited this poor little biped to witness.  I might have declined the invite if I had known I would need to run thru troops of undead with bows!  But my mighty draggy escorts saw me thru relatively safely (well, alive, anyway!) and I got to watch a hatchling change in a bright sphere of light into a big lusty flying machine.  In the last days of Blight, I got to experience flight when I was allowed to login to Sharp and take him for one last flight. [pix on the URL I previously sent you. – Treece] I remember my first trip to the Eastern Deadlands.  Again, thanx to my entourage of bodyguards, I only died 4 times!  Although I never quite memorized the way for myself and always needed a guide, I did eventually get good enough to make the safe area without dying – although I did bring some necroflies with me to the leech motel once of twice!!
I remember the first time Horizons was sold.  Illy camped out all night at Brist, in what became known (to me at least) as the holy place.  No one felt much like doing anything but hanging out in Brist and spending as much time with Illy as possible.  God gave away his stuff, and I was entrusted with his shoulder parrot, promptly renamed Illy, Jr.  I promised god I would never remove it, and I never did.  I carried my avatar of god proudly and (hopefully) I served as a reminder of the time when we had a voice and an authority in our corner.  It was all too brief.
I remember working on my plot.  I found a lovely spot (with lots of help, as always) in Clear Port, just over the bridge.  Right on the water, with a clear 360 view.  The area was almost virgin and I had no neighbors.  I designed a Sslik and a Saris house (although I never played him, my brother had his Sslik character, Snake Eyes, on my account) with a fountain and garden of swampy trees.  I had tents and silos for storage, a library for my forms, and eventually tore down my connie to put in a Saris hut (cause the hut is prettier!).  Snake and I split the construction tasks.  He got fitter and mason, I took the wood and fabric.  We still would be working on it, if not for the generous help of all the Blighties.  Someone was always on who was willing to put in a little work on the thing.  I came back after not logging in for a weekend and was told by 15 peeps, before I had even popped up, that my plot was done.  I couldn't believe how beautiful it was when complete.  Without my Blighties, it would not have been as wonderful as it was.
I remember peeps that would drop what they were doing to make things for me.  I don't just mean if they were, say, mining mith, they would make tools.  Everyone did that.  I mean like Elek halting his hunting to make me an axe.  Theros or Colin stopping whatever they are crafting to make me amour.  Ryin stopping construction on her plot to make me two sets of cargo gear.  This was the essence of Blight.  And this wasn't just done for me, but for each other and for noobs who proved themselves worthy.
I appointed myself 'god's Rottie of Blight', speaking of worthy noobs.  Many times, especially if the other shards were down for maintenance or some new development was announced in testing on Blight, players from the live shards would come over, with obviously no intentions of staying, to play in Blight while the other shard was down.  For the most part, those players were great, and several became devoted Blighties.  But there were a couple that thought they could 'improve' Blight by making it more like their home shard.  Most Blighties ignored them, but I confess I received great happiness at being argumentive and rude.  There is a reason there was no marketplace chat on Blight – we weren't in it for the cash.  So, peeps who came to Blight and started telling us we needed to charge more and form 'cartels' or some such – I made sure that they knew I, at least, would not tolerate it.
Well, all good things come to an end, again.  At least ENB closed with some grace.  How Blight ended was a disgrace.  4 days notice over a holiday weekend….it was sheer luck that I logged in time to get the news so I could scramble and get things done.  But I know 85% of the solid Blighties never got the chance to find out until it was way too late.  To me, that moves right out of bad customer service zone and firmly into the cold, heartless profit machine zone.
Since I knew from the start that our alts would never be transferred, I created a draggy on Chaos, MourningWood.  But the 'wow' factor is gone; it's just not Horizons to me anymore.  I play him when I get the itch, but haven't had to scratch for more than a week.
I am watching and waiting on a new game some fellow Blighties are in beta testing with.  They say it is fun.  But it takes a certain indefinable something for me to get really into a game, and whatever that is, only ENB and Blight had it for me.  I will give any new game that comes along a try, just in case - but lightning struck me twice, not sure if it will again, or if I will even want it to.  Seems just as I start getting into a game, it ends forever.  I am getting too old for that much time, money, and emotional investment to give it to a company that won’t be around next year.

skalkaar island, part 3 - the first and second quests

Posted by velveeta Sunday February 12 2012 at 12:11PM
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when we left off, soknot had just received her first quest to hunt down and kill a grulet.  a grulet is a small version of a gruok - a boar like creature that can be looted as well as used as a resource of meat and hide.

karkath gives you  good info on where to find the grulets, so off you go!  in the forest just south of spitfyre, you can find plenty of the lil piggies to hunt, so choose one and whack away!

once you kill your prey, you will hear the chime of success and a notice in your game chat that you have completed your task and to return to karkath for your reward.  your quest journal is also updated and telling you the same thing.

return to karkath and listen to the next speech.  karthath asks you to loot a grulet tusk and return with the trophy, but first, he gives you your reward - a dented bell - and tells you about adding it to your hoard.

hoard is very important to dragons.  it provides power for the special attacks of draggys, like gold rage (a personal fave!), silver strike, and the various breath weapons.  you also need a certain amount of it to advance to the life stages.  you add things to your hoard (and choose carefully - what you add you cannot get back - many a draggy has accidently added a precious to their hoard.  losing a teched out weapon or piece of armour can really ruin your day......) the same way you scribe forms or make stuff:  go to your inventory, hightlight the object, right click and choose add to hoard, click the appropriate okays.

anyway, back you go and kill some grulets (think i lucked out and got my trophy with the first kill), looting each one until you get your trophy (the brown coin with the T on it in the screenie) by right clicking and selecting either the 'take all' or the 'browse loot' option.

a word about trophies.  every racial city has a trophy hunter, who will commission alts to seek out trophies of the appropriate level.  these can then be sold for coin or turned in for xp.  anti-powerlevelers love the trophy hunts for adding to the normal grind.

back to the quest.  once you have your trophy, return to karkath and let him tell you about where you go from there.

in my next post, i will introduce you to the character menu and training points, as by now, you should have your first 12 points to allocate.  see ya soon!!

skalkaar island, part 2

Posted by velveeta Saturday February 11 2012 at 11:41AM
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if you remember, spitfyre advised you, at the beginning of the speech, to seek out instructor karkath for your first lessons as a dragon adventurer. take the eastern path behind spitfyre and you will soon leave the forest for more dragonish climes.  just over the border between forest and mountain, on a bluff overlooking the road on your right as you leave the forest, you will find the good instructor.

greet karkath as you would any npc (right click and choose greet option) and listen to the brief speech.  karkath will give you your first quest, and we will get to that later, but first - 2 bits of important info.  karkath makes mention of your quest log and the dragon lore book.

accessing your quest log (in case you need a refresher, as i covered it with derexx a while ago) is easy.  click on the blue gem that provides access to the game options menu and choose the quests option.  this brings up the quest journal, which provides info on current and finished quests - like how many times you have done a quest (quests like trophy hunting, bottle cap collecting, and similiar are repeatable), steps you need to finish a quest, options to delete, etc.  as you can see from the log, karkath gave me a quest to loot a grulet tusk.

both karkath and spitfyre mention the dragon lore book located in the shrine area.  lying on a covered pedestal, a large book holds the answers for newbie hatchies.  it can give you a brief overview of abilities and actions, the life stages of dragons, and other useful info.  next to the enecyclopedia, you will see the binding shrine.  you can bind here if you wish, but really, you prolly won't be on skalkaar long enough for it, and the island is small enough to run around on in very little time.

gonna end for now, because there is a lot to talk about regarding the first quest, and i don't want to make the posts too long and boring!

see you soon with details about the quest and the aftermath!

skalkaar island, part 1

Posted by velveeta Monday February 6 2012 at 1:24PM
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so after you have created your new hatchling, you pop out on the landing port pad for the dragon tutorial area, skalkaar island.  it is here where newbies to the world of istaria will learn how the various controls work.  i will not be covering things (for the most part) for new players - i am always assuming you get the concept of using arrow keys to move, etc.  i will be covering construction and killing and a couple other things particular to horizons. 

anyway, as i was saying, your finished creation enters the world on the skalkaar island pad.  the movement tutorial window pops up, so you can follow the links for a brief but in depth version on movement. i, of course, am much familiar with movement, so i did not follow this - but feel free!

there is one thing that (i believe) the tutorial will not tell you (unless this has been corrected in the remod) - hatchies, while not being able to fly (take off, gain and lose height, and land), they can glide.  on blight, we have had many gliding parties - finding the highest safe accessible peak and jumping off.

anyway, let me show you how to set your options to glide rather than drop when you fall.  you can do it anytime, but you get more fun out of it if you do it as soon as you can!!  lol

first step is to click the blue gem and open the game menu.  choose options.  in the options function, choose the options tab.  scroll down to the 'start to fly or glide when falling' option and click the box.  make sure you click apply then you can exit out.  then find the the highest safe spot and jump off (use the 'q' key for a little extra distance [q is the jump button]), then use the movement keys to steer.  if you want to land early, you can hit the down arrow button to stop gliding and drop to earth.

the landing pad is located in the middle of the skalkaar forest, so you will see grulets wondering in the distance off the road.  you will also see spitfyre, the hatchling emmissary.  greet him and listen to his speeches, which give you some background about dragons and their place in the world.

spitfyre will also point you toward your first big adventure, which i will tell you about soon!

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